Embracing New Technology While Changing Careers
As more professionals transition between careers, we’re interested in how ROSS AI can help support new lawyers who are already seasoned professionals. Specifically, we’re interested in how we can help them translate their experience in their prior career into their new legal career.
So we were especially interested in our conversation with Blake Harper. Blake was an experienced CPA in the Birmingham, Alabama area before he decided to go to law school. He has just completed his first year at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham. Blake’s perspective is unique because he has a direct view into how technology is changing and enhancing both accounting and law.
In his current work as a summer associate at two major Birmingham-area firms, Blake has already seen how beneficial his accounting background is to the development of his legal skills. “Anything that has numbers, accounting or a spreadsheet gets sent to me,” Blake told us, only half kidding. “My background as a CPA brings a lot of value to the assignments I get and I enjoy the opportunity to marry my expertise in accounting and my increasing experience with legal issues.”
Tackling Complex Statutory Schemes with ROSS
One specific area of interest to Blake is ERISA benefit plans. He audited ERISA plans as an accountant and would like to leverage that experience as a lawyer.
Blake finds that ROSS is often the right tool for unraveling questions surrounding complex statutory schemes like ERISA. “I’m often required to take a very brief description of an assignment, identify the statutory issues and come up with cases that explain or resolve ambiguities in the statute,” Blake told me. “I have to come up to speed quickly in unfamiliar and typically unrelated areas of the law such as medical malpractice and construction. ROSS is invaluable to me in coming up to speed quickly when I’m just digging into a new area, almost always under time pressure and always mindful that I have to be efficient in coming to the correct answer.”
The ROSS Find Similar Language Function Delivers Confidence
For Blake, the ROSS Find Similar Language function is an important part of his research toolkit. “Whatever the assignment is, when I find one or two sentences that I really want to hammer home, I go to the Find Similar Language function. I find the right cases quickly and I’m more confident that I’ve thoroughly completed the assignment.”
“Sometimes you find a case with an exact fact match. Sometimes you find a definitive answer from the highest court. But more often than not, there isn’t a clear answer. Find Similar Language gets me to the last step. The algorithm is quicker and more efficient than I am when it comes to getting to a complete universe of cases.
Efficiency is important, but getting the correct answer is paramount. “The senior lawyers I work with need to be confident that I’ve done a comprehensive job. Missing a case could cost you a job offer. ROSS is a key safety net. With ROSS I’m confident I’ve found all the relevant cases and that confidence shows when I deliver cases or prepare memos.”
Blake still uses traditional research platforms because they do some things well. “But when I’m going to write a memo, I go to ROSS to find the right cases and complete my research using the Find Similar Language function.
An Accountant’s Attention to Detail
Blake is clearly bringing an accountant’s attention to detail and efficiency to his work as an accountant. That’s why he chose ROSS: “On efficiency and completeness, ROSS is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else.”
We’re excited that we can help Blake with the tools he needs to build his career and effectively represent his clients. We look forward to staying in touch with Blake along the way.